Death at a game show
Wowowee was a popular TV variety game show in the Philippines. To celebrate its first anniversary the show organisers decided to hold the event at the PhilSports Stadium in Pasig City.
Under normal circumstances each episode of WoWowee would attract 5,000; but on this day in February 2006, thirty thousand people gathered for days hoping to get into the PhilSports Stadium.
The show was scheduled to begin at one that afternoon and organisers began to hand out tickets at 6am. People tried to force their way to the front of the queue. Apparently things got worse when a staff member announced only the first three hundred would be eligible to participate in the game show component. The agitated crowd pushed forward.
When the gates to the stadium finally gave way, people stumbled and the ensuing stampeded would prove to be a disaster killing 73 and injuring nearly four hundred others.
A bad month for the Philippines
Less than two weeks after the Wowowee stampeded, a massive landslide In Southeren Leyte, Philippines killed 1,126 people including the complete burial of an elementary school where about 250 lives were lost.
MS al-Salam Boccaccio 98 sinks
There were varied reports of why the Egyptian passenger ferry MS al-Salam Boccaccio 98 sunk in the Red Sea in February 2006. It seems the vessel was already listing when it left port. Some time later a fire broke out – some say in the engine room while others the storage area. It also appears the sea water used to fight the fire collected in the hull because the drainage pumps were not working helping the already listing ferry to capsize.
There were between 1,408 and 1,415 people onboard at the time of the disaster. Some say 388 survived but others say as few as 320. Many of the survivors claimed they saw the captain among the first to abandon the ferry in a lifeboat.
Bob Sinclair’s “Love Generation” and Chris Brown’s “Run It” were the two number one songs in February 2006.
Using a sample from the 70’s Waitress hit, I know What Boys Like, Brown became the first male lead since Puff Daddy in 1997 to have his debut single top the chart.
With vocals from Gary Pine, the catchy Love Generation was also used throughout the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Not surprisingly it was number one on Germany’s 2006 year end singles chart.
The Pink Panther reboot in 2006 was a hit for Steve Martin. He delivered Inspector Jacques Clouseau to a new audience with a great deal of tribute to the late Peter Sellers. With a cast that included Kevin Kline, Jean Reno and Beyonce Knowles it was a fun movie very much in the tradition of the original.
The bestseller for February 2006 was Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
With a concept taken largely from the 80’s The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, this book and later movie has become a classic that will continue to have the conspiracy theorists saying, “I told you so”.